I love the feeling I get when a student completely NAILS an assignment. It is an amazing moment when you read a student response and they explain their thoughts with depth and feeling. I am so proud of the responses my students shared during this lesson.
During our unit, Following Characters into Meaning, we read the book Wonder by RJ Palacio. Several times in the book, the author refers to songs or uses songs as chapter titles. She uses quotes from songs to divide the book into sections. She cites certain songs that relate to certain characters. Two of the songs she happens to use are in my list of favorites on my iPod. They are songs I have heard live in concert. They are songs that my students had never heard. So I felt it was my duty to change that.
That is why my students grooved to Wonder by Natalie Merchant and rocked out to When September Ends by Green Day!
One of my professional goals this year is to make a concerted effort to spend more time exposing my students to a variety of genres. I'm not just going to teach the typical units that are required. I plan to incorporate genres throughout all of my teaching. Music is poetry so it fit perfectly into my plans!
I gave students the lyrics so they could follow along as they listened to the songs. The first time they simply listened to the song. The second time they sang along (if they wanted to), danced, and played air guitar and/or drums. The third time they made notes on their lyric sheets. For the first song I simply had the lyrics printed on the sheets. For the second song I added in guiding questions.
You can tell this student takes music lessons by his notations.
She made a personal connection to her religion by commenting that God should be capitalized.
He labeled the poetry pattern in the stanzas of the lyrics!